Homes With Heart – Heather Coombs-Perez

According to a recent article published by Fidelity National Home Warranty, the day after Thanksgiving causes plumbers to give thanks—or not, depending on how you look at it. With all the preparation cuttings and leftovers that make their way into garbage disposals and down drains, plumbers are kept busy snaking, rooting and replacing outdated, and often-clogged pipes during the holidays.

Typically, the food stuffs that make their way into the sink are very fibrous, such as potato skins or other vegetable peelings. This type of waste easily gets compacted further down the line, blocking the pipe. To avoid issues, scrape your plates before rinsing them in the sink and avoid using garbage disposals. Also, cut vegetables over the trash can whenever possible.

“Kitchen and laundry lines generally tie into one another and these tend to be some of the most used drains and pipes in the house,” said Christopher Mangan, plumber, and owner of Southland Plumbing and Heating. “ The lint and food waste accumulates, causing a build-up we call sludge, to stick in the lines.”

“If you really can’t do without your garbage disposal, make sure you don’t throw everything into it at once, and run lots of water to avoid clogs,” he recommends.

Not all plumbing is created equal. Houses built before 1970 generally have galvanized piping, which tends to clog more easily and will also develop rust and leaks over time. Home inspectors sometimes become concerned when they see galvanized piping under a home, so it might be worth changing out the old, worn drains before selling your home.

“Everyone should go under their house on a regular basis,“ advises Mangan. “Especially if you have galvanized pipes, your drains my be running fine but under the house you could have leaks which can ruin the foundation, or cause dry rot, termites or mold problems.”

If you do decide to get your pipes replaced, you’re not likely to have as many issues with food stuffs causing clogs. The ABS plastic piping most plumbers are using now doesn’t allow food or sludge to build up, so there’s less chance of clogs. In a multi-story house, however, you may hear water running through the ABS plumbing, so if you’re sensitive to noise, you may want to explore other options.

As I am not a competent plumber, don’t call me if your drains clog! But you can reach Christopher Mangan of Southland Plumbing and Heating at 310-398-9809 or via email at [email protected].

However, if I can help you with any of your real estate needs during the holidays or into the coming year, contact me at [email protected].

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